The East Village is one of the eclectic neighborhoods in New York. Need proof? Look at the best East Village restaurants, a melting pop of top-rate Korean restaurants, nouveau soul food restaurants and modern Mexican restaurants, not to mention the bulk of the Momofuku empire. From omakase sushi to comfort foods, here are the best restaurants to dine at in the East Village.
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Best East Village restaurants
David Chang's 22-seat chef's counter is the most expensive restaurant of the Momofuku empire (and probably the best). The ever-evolving menu has included creative numbers like a matcha-tea–dusted mille-feuille and a mackerel sabazushi. You never know what you're going to get, but we assure you that you're going to love it.
Tiny, well-lit Prune is still as popular as it was the day it opened. James Beard-award winning chef Gabrielle Hamilton sends out creative dishes like Manila clams with hominy and roasted suckling pig with pickled tomatoes. This is the area’s go-to brunch spot, so beware: The wait for a table can stretch over an hour.
Skirting the small-plate trend, the hearty fare at this haunt is big, rich and flavorful. There is a small hearth in the restaurant, but the real warmth comes from the staff, which takes pains in helping you pick the right dish, and is equally interested in finding out afterward what you thought of it.
The East Village’s first real destination sushi bar remains one of the top spots in the neighborhood for pristine raw fish—and, with tables lined up under a blonde wood cocoon, among the coziest. The best deal on a sushi splurge is still the chef’s choice omakase, an ultra-generous platter of whatever’s freshest that day.
Instantly craveable takes on Korean food is exactly what to expect at this neoteric East Village nook. The ultimate Netflix-binge, couch-potato snack of honey-buttered chips comes with the highly-recommended option to add vanilla ice cream. Unlike the typical Korean BBQ joints in the city, Oiji serves up refined versions of traditional fare.
Noodle Bar made its bones taking the economic savior of college students everywhere—ramen noodles—and making them hot, offering an array of slurpable noodle soups that join tender meat or mushroom-stuffed buns and soft serve. It's a great option for a late night snack if you end up looking for a nosh late at night.
Named after the Middle Eastern spice blend, this Arabian-French bistro showcases Lebanese family recipes in a 46-seat restaurant, outfitted with burgundy banquettes, exposed-brick walls and a five-stool bar. Highlighting the flavors of the Levant and North Africa, feast on mezze and tableside shawarma as you enjoy a glass of Lebanese wine.
The crispy and cheesy Detroit-style pizza from the team behind the beloved Emily debuts in Manhattan. In addition to OG favorites, the new spot has two brand-new pies exclusive to this location. The Emmyletta embraces the flavors of a muffaletta with mortadella, pepperoni and olive salad. The Curry Row is an ode to the bounty of Indian restaurants on neighboring 6th Street packs onions, cauliflower and achaar on the crust.
A throwback to the artsy East Village of decades past, this 24-hour Ukrainian diner is famous for such authentic savory grub as borscht, kielbasa and pierogi. There is no bad time to come in for a bite, just be aware there will be crowds of college students and downtown dwellers looking to do the same.
This sleek outpost of a Japanese ramen chain is packed mostly with Nippon natives who queue up for a taste of their famous noodle soups. Combinations of their flavorful broths with tender noodles and topping are nothing short of restoring bowls of comfort. Just come hungry: They don't let you take any leftovers home.
Il Buco’s casual offshoot—one part winecentric restaurant (Vineria), one part gourmet food pantry (Alimentari)—pulls off the combo more elegantly. Though the fancy provisions are separated from the dining room by a wall of Modena vinegar barrels, the open kitchen’s wood-burning aromas still consume every inch of the place.
Waiters hustle to noisy rock music in this 50-seat space from David Chang as diners sit at the crowded counter. Chefs create concoctions priced to sample, including the wonderfully fatty pork-belly steamed bun with hoisin sauce and cucumbers, and the lunchtime ssäm (Korean for “wrap”), which might be the finest burrito in the city.
On a greenhouse-inspired patio with herbs, flowers, and vegetation hanging overhead from mismatched vintage planter—combined with the worn appearance of salvaged-barn-wood tables—conspire to create a homey atmosphere in which Chefs Eduard Frauneder (“Edi”) and Wolfgang Ban (“the Wolf”) revisit the flavors of their native Austria at this neighborhood tavern.
Pastry whiz Christina Tosi conjures up homey sweets at this lauded bakery across the street from Momofuku Ssäm Bar. East village students, fawning foodies and in-the-know tourists line up for a sugar rush from the cultish goodies, including crack pie, cereal-milk soft serve and addictive cake balls.
Drawing on the Carolinas (mustard and vinegar) and Texas (dry rub), the chef melds traditions into a self-styled “Texalina” category. In a space staged with white-painted brick, Edison lightbulbs and stacks of splintered logs, ’cue-hounds can dig into superlative statehopping grub that upends purist ideals with gut-busting glory.
Picture a Hawaiian restaurant. Noreetuh is not that place. It’s sophisticated, no doubt—a smartly curated and generously priced wine list takes the place of any coconut-hulled cocktails—but the chef embraces the Hawaiian lowbrow as readily as he does the high with a menu of tropical-inspired fare.
The team at Jeepney was on a mission to bring the Filipino cooking they knew as kids out of New York’s ethnic-food ghetto. The menu offers an immersive ethnographic journey, featuring family-style eats that will push your threshold for pungent, fermented flavors. Whatever you choose, portions are huge and the price tag's a bargain.
This Basque-inflected spot serves pitch-perfect pintxos and composed platos in a garlic-perfumed bar area and back dining room. House-made vermouth and a well-appointed selection of wines round out the lusty offerings. The menu provides the flexibility to stop in for a bite and a tipple, or set up camp and enjoy a full meal.
If the refreshing flavors of Somtum Der in the East Village are any indication, Isan cuisine is the antidote to the too-sweet noodles Americans commonly mistake for Thai food. Take a seat in the bright, wood-paneled dining room and enjoy the heat of the chilies that permeate the spicy fare.
After an unsuccessful search for Chinese-Taiwanese fusion to rival their parents' cooking, sisters Hannah and Marian Cheng unleash secret family recipes at this white-walled dumpling house, named for their mother. The 16-seat shop runs on counter service alone, but dumpling lovers can sit at reclaimed-wood tables to eat.
Reclaimed wood, repurposed scaffolding and recycled whiskey bottles become chandeliers and lamps in the 45-seat dining room, and animal-bone beer taps take center stage at the bar. At your table, enjoy a bounty of southern classics, each one slightly cheffed-up for the New York scene.
The best Greenwich Village restaurants in NYC are a diverse bunch. There are high-end Japanese food counters, acclaimed falafel joints and fast-casual Neopolitan pizza havens. Whether you’re craving a platter of oysters on the half-shell or spicy rigatoni at one of the best Italian restaurants in NYC, check out the best restaurants in Greenwich Village. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to best restaurants in NYC